common problems with applications

We’ve identified some common issues with Quick Response and Arts Grant applications and some ways you can improve your application.

Every round some worthwhile projects do miss out on grants because there are not enough funds available. To increase the likelihood we’ll fund your application it needs to be as strong as possible.

Increase your chances at being successful

You need to read the application guides so you understand exactly what’s required for your application. We also recommend you contact your relevant Arts Adviser to discuss your application as they will help you to make a strong application.

In general you need to have:

  • Clearly defined what your project idea is, and explained what will be achieved
  • Demonstrated how you’ll complete your project within the time frame, and what a successful project will look like for you
  • Identified  the key people in the project and their experience with this type of project
  • Provided credible financial information
  • Identified how your project meets Creative New Zealand’s strategic outcomes.

What are the common reasons for unsuccessful applications?

Lack of key information about the project

This meant that staff couldn’t fully assess the artistic quality or the potential for the project to be realised. This includes:

  • No clear timeframes
  • No information on how you will know if the project has been successful (an evaluation plan)
  • No artistic CVs for the key people involved in the project
  • No support letters from proposed partners to indicating their willingness to be involved in the project
  • Insufficient itinerary information
  • when and where you’re going
  • who you’re seeing and why
  • What you expect the benefits to be.

Insufficient alignment with our desired results:

All applications need to identify up to two Creative New Zealand results and convincingly described how the project would achieves these. The results must be selected by the applicant from the set criteria.

We find that some applicants:

  • Do not identify results but instead make up their own result
  • Do not identify any results
  • Identify a result but do not choose one that is a strong fit for the project. Sometimes applicants confuse an eventual, long-term desired result with the aspect of the project they are seeking funding for
  • Identify a  result but do not make a strong enough case for how the project will deliver that result

Problems when submitting an application

Because of the large number of applications that Creative New Zealand deals with, applications must arrive by the closing date in the correct format or they will be made ineligible and not considered for funding. Some common issues are:

  • Not providing the correct number of copies required for the type of funding programme - details are in the application guides
  • Not using the correct application form
  • Sending an application form without submitting details on your project or providing a budget
  • Others request funding for projects that began before Creative New Zealand had made its funding decisions

See the Forms and guides page for more

Problems with support material

We often find:

  • Support material not sent in with the application. We can’t guarantee to match support material with applications if they are sent separately.
  • Support material not relevant to the artform.   The type of support material varies depending on the artform. Information on support material can be found in the Application Guides.
  • Poor quality of video/DVD support material
  • CDs with audio formats that can’t be accessed
  • Failure to supply recordings of recent and relevant work
  • Letters of support in are not appropriate, not from the right people, or not recent. Confirmation by letter from key practitioners that are named in an application is necessary to verify their interest and availability in the project.
  • A lack of reviews or support letters commenting on previous presentations of the work
  • A lack of confirmation of venues. A strong proposal includes letters or information to support the fact that the venue has been contacted and/or has confirmed your act.

Insufficient budget information

The budget is an important part part of most funding applications. Sometimes we find that budgets:

  • Don’t provide enough information.
  • Are inaccurate
  • Request funding amounts that do not appear to have any relationship to the budget.

Information on how to complete your budget can be found aapplication Form 2013.

You can use the Excel budget template to help you get started.

Our word definitions around funding are misunderstood 

Many of the word we use in our funding process also have other quite valid definitions. Our glossary is to help people understand how we at Creative New Zealand use these terms.

Some often misunderstood words are: